The humble hamburger is to everyday food what the Volkswagen Beetle is to the motor industry: an old standby that never was all that exciting to begin with but which has become a beloved staple because of its perseverance, its pluck, and in the way that it stands in its own space in its own way, and refuses to die.
This is not just any meal, but six fine courses of the food of the man who in my opinion is the finest chef working at the Cape at the moment. Peter Tempelhoff can put as much flavour in one tiny sliver of food as some chefs cannot quite manage to get in an entire hog on the spit. His modest, softspoken demeanour belies a skill that few chefs possess, even at this level, and quite frankly it was the Dom Pérignon that was having to hold up to the excellence of almost every morsel that was sent out.
This is a Christmas dinner party menu for that’s quick and affordable. I made the starter, a paté, in 25 minutes. The main course is a simple roast that’s been tarted up a little with a shiny coat. And the dessert is a cheat, plain and simple: store-bought vanilla ice-cream that’s been given a cheeky Christmassy lift – and it really does taste like a traditional mince pie. That took five minutes, not including the shopping.
The publishers of the Eat Out magazine have built the title and brand superbly for very many years, and have given us to believe that their awards represent the country, and therefore represent us. Unless they want to risk losing some of that hard-won success and brand recognition, they might want to reconsider a few things.
Laurent and Cyrillia Deslandes have moved Bizerca uptown to Heritage Square, where their premises include the wind-protected courtyard at the square’s heart, and the masterstroke is that, while settling into the new space and giving it their own understated style, they also added something akin to placing a striking centrepriece on a dinner table to provide a talking point: an entire wall of the restaurant interior has been turned into a vertical herb garden.
Fynbos gin is a speck of southern Cape antiquity in a glass. Add it to a homemade syrup and fruit to make a sorbet, and you have in that sweet temptress of a dessert or palate-cleanser a tiny homage to hundreds of generations of humankind and the terrain they roamed, lived on and fed from as long as 100 000 years ago.
We often tend to take the basic ingredients of what we imagine to be an ethnic cuisine, give it a label and add it to our repertoire.Tomatoes, garlic, oregano? Italian. Same trio but add lemon? Greek. Take away the lemon and replace it with anchovy? Provencal.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after decades of research and years of trials, the manufacturers of whites, blacks, coloureds, coconuts, Indians, plurals, tricamerals, old-style liberals, diehard Nats, Oranians, black diamonds — basically of anyone you know or have ever known — have invented a whole new race which, with immediate effect, replaces all races that have gone before, rendering them null and void.
Should anybody under 25 be reading this, here is the lesson you should of been taught at school, using the title’ve a famous song from My Fair Lady, which as you know came out a year or so before that other great musical, The Sound Have Music.